“If you break it down to its smallest pieces, you continue to watch, you continue to change and make plans, your execution will go up, happiness will go up, and I think everyone will be all the better for it.” – Camille Clemons & Jack Wilson in today’s Tip 1379
How do you manage your day?
Join the conversation below and learn more about Jack and Camille!
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’ve got a special treat for you, because you’re going to get to hear both Camille Clemons and Jack Wilson. This is a little longer than usual, so let’s jump right into it:
Camille Clemons: I wanted to get on the line with you. I read one of your recent posts about the Microsoft Human Factor Lab study where it was basically breaking down behavioral nature of your brain, measured by the amount of back to back to back to back meetings that you have. And I identify with that. So I was hoping that we could maybe deconstruct the behavior and figure out a plan.
Jack Wilson: TLDR it’s not good. The effects are not good. I’m glad you picked up on it because this is something I’ve been talking about for a long time, because the study that I shared talks about stress and the impact of stress on your brain. But in addition to stress, there’s a whole myriad of different effects that happen. There’s cognitive switching, which when you go from one task to another, there’s a notable loss in productivity in your brain. And then there’s also like retention of knowledge and all sorts of other things. So I think this topic is super important, but I think you put some really good context around it, like in the workplace, in this new work-from-home remote pivot life. How does this apply? How do we fix it once we know it’s a problem?
Camille Clemons: So I think fix is a relative term, right? So the way I started to break this down was we have to first understand there’s more than one bucket. And once you understand there’s more than one bucket, meaning you’ve got work, you’ve got life, you’ve got travel, you’ve got, not just sitting in the chair like we had for a couple of years when you could schedule back to back to back meetings with no breaks because you didn’t have to move from place to place. So you could, you could get away with having ten meetings in a day because you weren’t going anywhere anyway. I mean, you should go to the bathroom and things like that, but even some days that was questionable. So once you realize there’s more than one bucket, I think then you have to identify what are your buckets? And then once you identify the buckets, you need to figure out how to consolidate them. Is that the right way to think about this or how would you approach it?
Jack Wilson: Yeah, and I think tangibly for people when you think about a bucket, right? Think about physically a calendar, right? Like many people have more than just one calendar. So it’s not just your work calendar. You and I sort of started a conversation where you shared your screen and you showed your work calendar. And the question I asked was, well, that’s not all there is. What else is there? Do you have a life and family calendar? Do you have a personal calendar? So start with calendars. Once you go beyond calendars, is it lists, parking lots, other sort of ways that you track things that you have planned to do or need to do. Get all those laid out in a way that’s simple to understand so that visually you can see them all. And that’s kind of how I look at figuring out all your buckets.
Camille Clemons: Awesome. So once you figure out the bucket and you come up with a plan, I mean, is that it? Are we done? Because I think the other thing…
Jack Wilson: Hold on. Wait to solved.
Camille Clemons: All done. Move on. Live happily ever after. Because I think that that is what people might fear. They think we’re done because we figured it out. But I think we talk in kind of these circles that we’re both in about this concept of either learn, teach, learn, or iteration, or how can we help people understand? Because I know for you and I, it is a work in progress and nothing is forever, right? You have life changes, work changes, jobs change, you have additional children, you have other responsibilities that creep in. So how would you go about and I think we’ve talked about this enough, and I think this could be a nice dialogue how would you go about helping someone who’s trying to sort through this? So awareness is number one, right? We’re going to start with understanding those inputs and where those spaces are. What would you say comes next?
Jack Wilson: A quote that I hate but is terribly applicable. It’s what you can’t measure, you can’t manage. So the next part is to measure it. And what I want people to understand when we talk about measuring your time, you know, obviously the actual meetings and the time it takes and the breaks between those can be measured in actual time. But the other things to measure are just as important. So how do you feel? Are you energized? Is your cup full? Are you dreamed how effective you are, your memory, if you feel like you’re having a hard time remembering things after a certain week or through a period of your schedule. So measuring not just the tangibles with hard and fast metrics, but also measuring some of the results personally and mentally in your life.
Camille Clemons: I think that’s actually really important because we can often lie to ourselves and say we’re fine, when really, I mean, are we fine? And I know fine is relative and it’s defined by each individual, but being honest with yourself too. And I think that comes into evaluating. So you evaluate how you feel at the end of a meeting, at the end of a day, at the end of a week, after, you know, a certain period has elapsed. And really evaluating how you feel, I think, is really underestimated. And having that time to reflect and having that time then to plan, I’ll let you take this one, to plan what comes next. How do you find yourself planning for the unknowns that exist in kind of a week or a period of time?
Jack Wilson: Yeah, planning could be a whole multi-hour-long conversation, but it really starts with setting your goals, with your time. Right. I think we set goals on the outcomes that we want, and then we try to make our time fit those goals, but we can actually set goals for our time. One of the ways I’ve done that is to create ratios, where maybe it’s work time is a W. P time as a P, and anything else is an A. Right. And then you get a ratio of the W is the P is in the A’s. You can color code your schedule to measure these things. But then to have an actual goal of, okay, what do I want that split to be and why? And this can change. This isn’t something that has to be set in stone. If you’re going through a particular period in your life, like I am with two young children, I need a personal side to be a lot more overweighted than the work side. And if that’s not happening, I can feel the impacts. So I measure what percentage of my time needs to be spent in what areas, and then also measure like, the outcomes it could be, number of tasks that I’m executing on. It needs to be controlled outcomes, not uncontrollable like things like sales, like quota and whatnot. But then once you have those goals in mind, you have to plan. But don’t just plan from a zero baseline budgeting. You have to plan from a place of relativity. What was I doing before and versus what did I want the outcome to be? What was the gap? How am I going to change that gap? And what are the behaviors that I’m going to do differently this time? And instead of just saying out loud, I’m going to do them differently, it’s physically planning. I.E scheduling, putting the calendar, making hard and fast rules for yourself, like inserting buffers between meetings and things like that.
Camille Clemons: Yes. I think that concept of a buffer is one that I’ve started to really whether it’s even five minutes between meetings. Right? If it’s five minutes, that means I have five minutes to get up and take care of some things, maybe even just get up, which I haven’t all day. I’ve gotten up once to use the bathroom, and that’s pretty ridiculous. I think next comes execution. And execution, we all know, is when the rubber hits the road. So anyone can plan as much as they want, and they can measure that. They color-coded their calendar, but it’s actually the execution, I think that is the real key here, and it’s one where I’ve really started holding myself accountable. So at the end of the day, I try to have, like, okay, just like at the end of every meeting. What are my action items at the end of my day? What do I need to accomplish before I’m just moving on with the day? This day is over, we’re going to start the next one tomorrow, and making sure that I hold myself to those, because otherwise we start the next day already in the red, and that’s not a good feeling. So execution, I think, is key in holding yourself accountable for that. And then I think the last one that we’ve kind of gotten into as well is the iteration. So take the time and look back and see what went right, see what maybe could be adjusted a little bit, and know that none of this is set in stone, right? And that you need to give yourself a little bit of grace if you’re going to make it through this thing we call life with any sort of, I don’t know, happiness. We earned it, right? We’ve gotten to the seat and we should respect the fact that we’ve earned happiness. And we get that because we get, you know, we get to do it again tomorrow. So, Jack, I think we’ve done a nice job in uncovering the nature of this stress that exists when you’re in back-to-back meetings and giving some people some tactics to combat this cycle that we find ourselves.
Jack Wilson: I think so. And I think the most important thing you said right there was that we get to do it again tomorrow. And I know you’re someone who has a ledger. And that’s not just because of what you do. But the thing you can do is you can shrink your ledger. And instead of carrying over debts to yourself when it comes to time, day to day, look back on yesterday. You won. You lost, no matter what it was, understand why and set out tomorrow to do it a little bit differently. To win just that day. To win just the part of that day. And if you break it down to its smallest pieces, you continue to watch, you continue to change and make plans, your execution will go up, happiness will go up, and I think everyone will be all the better for it.
Camille Clemons: Amen.
Scott Ingram: For links to connect with Camille and Jack as well as links to their respective episodes on Sales Success Stories, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1379. Once you’ve clicked over there, be sure to click right back here for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!